Retail Trends for VM

26th  Feb 2018

There is no doubt that retail is currently undergoing a metamorphosis that challenges its very raison d'être. The combined forces of digital disruption and economic factors are buffeting retailers from all sides, leaving many stunned and unable to forge ahead and prosper. This battering is compelling retailers to reappraise their business model to their target customer and even question the very purpose of a physical store, in this day and age.


During periods of economic uncertainty, it is natural for businesses to curtail spending. Visual merchandising (along with marketing generally), is one of the first areas to be affected, but controversially, it is also one of the first areas to see a recovery when the inevitable smack of retail sameness hits home.


Trend foresight, as part of retail design, is extremely important to us at Proportion London. We have a longstanding reputation in the VM industry as forward-thinkers; often defining future retail indicators and translating them into solid concepts well ahead of the curve. Below I talk about the trends we've  noticed and the solutions that we developed to complement them. I hope you find it interesting!

Emporium shopping

The Proportion design team have a strong history working with emporiums and all types of curated retail. Best seen at brands like Dover Street Market, Corso Como, Merci and the former Colette, the coming together of a wider fashion lifestyle offer is now trickling down to the high street as we fast reach garment saturation point. Shelving and table type fixtures are therefore required to suit the merchandise mix. Sensing this movement some time ago; we responded by developing casual table sitters as an extension to our popular Harlequin collection. Perched on a table edge, they soften the transition of the eye from rail to the inevitable expanse of hard, flat surfaces and along with our accessories range, fit the concept perfectly.


The New Minimal 


Retail’s popular minimalism trend sees store interiors peeled back to their barest skeleton. Whether through aesthetic inclination, to comply with budgetary needs or for interior dexterity, store settings are becoming cleaner and less fussy. We noticed and acted upon the trend for ceiling and wall hanging, pioneered by luxury brands such as Selfridges, Chloe and Victoria Beckham, who achieved an airy feel while drawing more attention to the product. The hanging system we created in response to this trend offers unique VM presence and adaptability in equal measure - it’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Due to popularity, we will shortly launch a second wave of product that allows for even more flexibility, working from ceiling and wall to bring freshness and modern theatre to the retail scene.



English Cut

Architectural Heritage


The strikingly restrained and grown-up trend for grand architectural interiors repurposed as retail spaces were first seen in stores such as Jill Sander on Savile Row. We responded to this movement by introducing Components; a kit-like mannequin collection; fabricated in neutrals tones, authentic materials and finishes to blend seamlessly into such surroundings. This trend has matured into beautifully considered luxury interiors with richer colours and softer fabrics, which we responded to with body forms that dovetail into the first collection perfectly.

Selfridges Design Studio

Jewellery - To Me, From Me


The rise of fine Jewellery and the growing trend for self-purchase and self-reward amongst women has influenced our experimentation in this area and is responsible for the growth of our extensive range of jewellery presentation products. We launched an enhanced upgraded Precious Jewellery offer at the end of last year offering new items and four styling options to cover the various facets of VM across the sector. The collection was quickly taken up by clients such as Dinny Hall and Jessica McCormack, who were delighted with their covered jewellery necks - tweaking the colours and finishes to sit perfectly within their respective retail spaces.


Jessica McCormack
Dinny Hall

Tanya Reynolds

Creative Director

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